On Monday June 11, 2018 Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ overturned a precedent set during the Obama administration that allowed more individuals to claim credible fears of domestic and group violence as grounds for seeking asylum. Mr. Sessions’ decision will make it harder for such arguments to prevail in immigration courts.
La Clínica del Pueblo condemns this decision that jeopardizes the health and wellness of women, families and unaccompanied youth by preventing survivors of violence to gain protection, a precedent that has long been upheld in the United States and under international law. People seeking asylum in this country are among the most vulnerable. Victims of domestic violence have endured unspeakable trauma that has driven them to travel thousands of miles from home with the hopes of finding the protection they deserve. As a Community Health Center dedicated to building a healthy Latino community, we declare that immigrants and refugees deserve health, safety, and dignity. Unjust immigration policies are detrimental to the health of individuals and the community.
We decry this decision, as it will threaten the lives of many who are seeking safety from abuse and violence. This decision could drive an entire generation of youth seeking safety into the shadows, making them more vulnerable to ill health. It will endanger thousands of women who whose lives will be at risk if they cannot seek legal protection from abusive partners.
La Clínica is committed to delivering compassionate, quality care to anyone, and to care for all aspects of their health and wellbeing.
La Clínica serves more than 100 survivors of domestic violence in supportive programming and over 130 youth through school-based services each year. With the help of LCDP, in the last two years, eight survivors of domestic violence have adjusted their legal status and two were granted asylum. We will continue to support and accompany our patients as they seek health and safety, as we envision, “a diverse, inclusive, healthy, safe, and happy community, free from violence and discrimination, where individuals have access to health care and are well-informed and empowered to care for themselves and their families.”